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The phrases in their context!


But, as there is no end to discussion, if we cannot discover the true cause of the illusions by which even the wisest are deceived, and as the analysis of all our transcendent cognition into its elements is of itself of no slight value as a psychological study, while it is a duty incumbent on every philosopher--it was found necessary to investigate the dialectical procedure of reason in its primary sources.
And as the inferences of which this dialectic is the parent are not only deceitful, but naturally possess a profound interest for humanity, it was advisable at the same time, to give a full account of the momenta of this dialectical procedure, and to deposit it in the archives of human reason, as a warning to all future metaphysicians to avoid these causes of speculative error.
If we regard the sum of the cognition of pure speculative reason as an edifice, the idea of which, at least, exists in the human mind, it may be said that we have in the Transcendental Doctrine of Elements examined the materials and determined to what edifice these belong, and what its height and stability.
We have found, indeed, that, although we had purposed to build for ourselves a tower which should reach to Heaven, the supply of materials sufficed merely for a habitation, which was spacious enough for all terrestrial purposes, and high enough to enable us to survey the level plain of experience, but that the bold undertaking designed necessarily failed for want of materials--not to mention the confusion of tongues, which gave rise to endless disputes among the labourers on the plan of the edifice, and at last scattered them over all the world, each to erect a separate building for himself, according to his own plans and his own inclinations.
Our present task relates not to the materials, but to the plan of an edifice; and, as we have had sufficient warning not to venture blindly upon a design which may be found to transcend our natural powers, while, at the same time, we cannot give up the intention of erecting a secure abode for the mind, we must proportion our design to the material which is presented to us, and which is, at the same time, sufficient for all our wants.
I understand, then, by the transcendental doctrine of method, the determination of the formal conditions of a complete system of pure reason.
We shall accordingly have to treat of the discipline, the canon, the architectonic, and, finally, the history of pure reason.
This part of our Critique will accomplish, from the transcendental point of view, what has been usually attempted, but miserably executed, under the name of practical logic.
It has been badly executed, I say, because general logic, not being limited to any particular kind of cognition (not even to the pure cognition of the understanding) nor to any particular objects, it cannot, without borrowing from other sciences, do more than present merely the titles or signs of possible methods and the technical expressions, which are employed in the systematic parts of all sciences; and thus the pupil is made acquainted with names, the meaning and application of which he is to learn only at some future time.
CHAPTER I. The Discipline of Pure Reason.
Negative judgements--those which are so not merely as regards their logical form, but in respect of their content--are not commonly held in especial respect.
They are, on the contrary, regarded as jealous enemies of our insatiable desire for knowledge; and it almost requires an apology to induce us to tolerate, much less to prize and to respect them.
All propositions, indeed, may be logically expressed in a negative form; but, in relation to the content of our cognition, the peculiar province of negative judgements is solely to prevent error.
For this reason, too, negative propositions, which are framed for the purpose of correcting false cognitions where error is absolutely impossible, are undoubtedly true, but inane and senseless; that is, they are in reality purposeless and, for this reason, often very ridiculous.
Such is the proposition of the schoolman that Alexander could not have subdued any countries without an army.
But where the limits of our possible cognition are very much contracted, the attraction to new fields of knowledge great, the illusions to which the mind is subject of the most deceptive character, and the evil consequences of error of no inconsiderable magnitude--the negative element in knowledge, which is useful only to guard us against error, is of far more importance than much of that positive instruction which makes additions to the sum of our knowledge.
The restraint which is employed to repress, and finally to extirpate the constant inclination to depart from certain rules, is termed discipline.
It is distinguished from culture, which aims at the formation of a certain degree of skill, without attempting to repress or to destroy any other mental power, already existing.
In the cultivation of a talent, which has given evidence of an impulse towards self-development, discipline takes a negative,* culture and doctrine a positive, part.
[*Footnote; I am well aware that, in the language of the schools, the term discipline is usually employed as synonymous with instruction.